Will Florida's 6-week abortion ban backfire on DeSantis?

Abortion is expected to be a key issue in 2024. Will Florida's strict new ban help or hurt the governor's presidential chances?

Ron DeSantis
(Image credit: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Florida's Republican-dominated legislature last week passed one of the nation's strictest anti-abortion bills, banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, when most women don't yet know they're pregnant. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) quickly signed the legislation into law. DeSantis, who hasn't declared his candidacy but is considered former President Donald Trump's top rival for the GOP's 2024 presidential nomination, didn't celebrate with a public ceremony. He quietly signed the bill in his office.

Polls suggested the bill was unpopular among voters in both parties. The new law, which won't take effect unless the Supreme Court rules that a previous Florida law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy is constitutional, includes exceptions allowing abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape and incest. It also preserves existing exemptions to allow the procedure until up to 15 weeks into a pregnancy to protect the woman's life or health.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.